LAHORE - The Lahore High Court on Wednesday directed the Punjab chief secretary and provincial police chief to submit replies in a petition challenging barricades installed outside residence of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Residents of Model Town, including Naushaba Mudassar, moved the petition challenging the blockage of the roads by erecting permanent barricades of concrete around the chief minister’s residence.

Representing the petitioners, Advocate Saarim Israr and Muhammad Usman argued that streets around the chief minister’s house in Model Town had been blocked in the name of security. The residences of the area, they said, had been facing serious problems because of permanent roadblocks. They said the area had become a no-go-area.

The petitioners prayed the court to order the government and police to remove the barriers installed on the roads leading to the residence of the chief minister in Model Town.  After hearing initial arguments of the petitioners’ counsel, Justice Shahid Karim issued notices to Punjab CS and IGP with directives to submit replies in a week.

JuD chief moves court against government

The Lahore High Court stopped the federal government from taking any action against Jamatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed till the further orders on his petition challenging his possible arrest on the eve of UN delegation’s visit to the country this week. Justice Aminuddin Khan passed the order and directed the government to submit reply on March 7. Hafiz Saeed, through his counsel AK Dogar, submitted that the government was making a plan to take him into custody after the alleged pressure of the US and India.  The counsel told the court that Hafiz Saeed was founder and chairman of Jamat-ud-Dawa and and Fala-i-Insaniat Foundation and had established 142 schools, three universities and had been engaged in welfare projects in the country.

He submitted that the Punjab government had recently detained the petitioner under Maintenance of Public Order for 90 days, however, a review board comprising judges of the high court ordered denied an application of the government to further extend period of his house arrest as it failed to justify the detention before the board.  He alleged that all the actions taken by the government against the petitioner had been on the pressure of US and Indian lobby who for the last many years have been harbouring an unfounded assumption that Hafiz Saeed was somehow involved in Mumbai attacks.   He asked the court to bar the government from taking any illegal action against the JuD leader. After hearing petitioner counsel’s arguments, Justice Khan restrained the government from taking any adverse action against Hafiz Saeed and directed it to submit reply.

On Nov 22, a review board comprising judges of the Lahore High Court ordered his release, turning down government’s plea seeking extension order of Jamaatud Dawa’s (JuD) chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed’s detention.

The review board headed by LHC Justice Abdul Sami Khan passed the orders after a senior finance ministry official failed to convince the board that the release of Saeed would bring diplomatic and financial problems to the country.